Home > Famous Archaeologists > Nabodinus, Last Great King of Babylon

Nabodinus, Last Great King of Babylon

By: Grahame Johnston - Updated: 9 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Nabonidus Babylonian Empire Babylon The

According to information in the The Dead Sea Scrolls (see our article on this site), Nabonidus was the last great king of the Babylonian Empire. Babylon was in its renewal stage, a period of Arabian history also called the neo-Babylonian Period. During this stage Babylon was modernising its culture and as a result there was an introduction of a more liberal system where rulers lost their enthusiasm for the Empire and a subsequent lack of interest in the traditional form of government.

Archaeologist verses Administrator?

Nabonidus, as King of Babylon, paid little attention to the politics, religion, or affairs of Imperial Babylon preferring instead to travel and research the older buildings, temples, and objects of antiquity that lay in the outer most parts of his Empire. For this reason he is included in archaeology’s ‘hall of fame’ because his abandonment of his royal duties were in favour of some of the first archaeological investigations.

Feasting and Drinking

According to ancient Arab sources Nabonidus was the father of Belshazzar, who stood in as temporary ruler whenever his father was away exploring and digging up the sands of Arabia. The Hebrew Tanach records that Belshazzar and other Babylonian nobles were feasting and drinking at the palace in his father’s absence, from the looted golden booty stolen from the temple in Jerusalem, when they were required to translate an unknown script, hand-written on the wall.

The Fall of Babylon

In Aramaic the script read, “mene, mene, tekel, parsin” and only the Hebrew, Daniel, was able to translate its literal meaning of “number, weigh, divided”. Daniel’s interpretation of this was, “The empire is numbered, you have been weighed, the kingdom will be divided”. This came to pass shortly thereafter when the Persians, under King Cyrus the Great, effortlessly conquered Babylon while Belshazzar was in charge.

Hearing of the impending attack, Nabonidus made haste to return to his capital only to find it in the hands of the Persians. Fortunately for Nabonidus, the Persian King was a merciful ruler and spared the lives of the nobles whom he had defeated. This characteristic won Cyrus favour with the peoples as a liberator from tyranny.

Worship of the Crescent Moon-God

Nabonidus ruled Babylon for 17 years until its fall in 539 BC. Although he was a neo-revisionist he still adhered to the time-honoured sacred rites of venerating celestial bodies as gods. Archaeologists have discovered a stone-carved relief depicting Nabonidus praying to the sun, Venus, and the moon-god, Allah.

The moon-god is depicted in artefacts as a crescent moon and later cultures included the addition of a star inside the crescent. Everywhere in the ancient world, archaeologists discover symbols of the crescent moon on steles, clay tablets, pottery items, amulets, seal impressions and cylinder seals themselves, official measuring weights, wall paintings, and jewellery. In ancient Babylon, the stele of Ur-Nammu has the moon-god crescent at the top of the list of gods as it was the most important.

Ur (ancient Babylon) has several examples of moon-god worship. More portable objects have been removed from their sites and are held by the British Museum in the Babylonian Room. Many small statues have been excavated and identified by inscriptions found on them as ‘daughters’ of the moon-god. Archaeologists working in modern Iraq have discovered and recorded thousands of inscriptions on walls and rocks indicating that Allah, the moon-god was regarded as the ruler of the gods at the time of Nabonidus’ reign. Archaeological evidence is overwhelming that the Allah of Islam is directly descended from the ancient moon-god deity represented in rock and picture by a crescent moon.

A cuneiform clay cylinder, discovered at the ancient temple of Shamash, records the efforts of King Nabonidus in reconstructing the moon-god temples in opposition to the existing gods.

The doom of King Nabonidus, his Empire, and the end of Babylon the Great was an inevitable certainty given his negligent disregard for matters of royal necessity. His personal diversion into archaeology may have felled his empire but his efforts have left no lasting scientific benefits for students of archaeology today. The fateful end of Nabonidus remains mistily unknown. Some speculate that he perished as a prisoner in the year after he lost his kingdom.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I love you so much. This site has been a great help to me and my students. I hope i could get a little more information. Thank you so much!! Bye, see ya real soon.
The Cat - 9-Sep-16 @ 5:13 PM
Ha! spoken like a true "googleexpert" allah smahla ...
hughslamanisamoron - 24-Dec-15 @ 4:22 PM
This article is a bad joke. "Allah" was never the name for the moon good Sin.
HughSlaman - 22-Dec-15 @ 10:17 PM
hi my frend I am Iranian,my livein Iran. I Have a pictur a rakarcology, buti ned a help. Canyouhelp me. pleasmaseg me . tanks
korosh - 13-Mar-13 @ 3:02 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Majid
    Re: Stone Tool Experts
    Sir i have alot of stone in my village every stone has good symbols.i want your help about that and also i have pic of the antimaps on rocks
    20 May 2019
  • Holly
    Re: Be a Volunteer Archaeologist
    Hi, I am currently studying for my A-Levels and plan to study archaeology at university. I am looking for summer work experience…
    18 May 2019
  • Curiosity
    Re: Pottery Experts
    I have an earthenware plate, blue and white, flowers and leaves round rim, no markings, has spiderings throughout and a few imperfections in the…
    18 May 2019
  • tri
    Re: The Megalithic Sites of Carnac
    Carnac, - (Karnak ?) - rays of Sun, or movements of the Moon, centred on one underground point. Ancient Technology ? Ancient…
    10 May 2019
  • Ani
    Re: Be a Volunteer Archaeologist
    I am currently a student in archaeology, but i am study througj distance learning. Thus i would love the oppertunity to get dirty…
    8 May 2019
  • Zoof
    Re: Be a Volunteer Archaeologist
    I would love the opportunity to help out in Pompeii. I have been involved in the building industry for over 35 years. Tony
    6 May 2019
  • JesseM
    Re: Stone Tool Experts
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/6GZBo4BAzwSwrdEK9 Hopefully this allows a picture to be seen. Sorry for the inconvenience
    5 May 2019
  • JesseM
    Re: Stone Tool Experts
    Hey I have what I believe is a native American tool however I would like to here others opinions and any info on the stone used would be…
    5 May 2019
  • Cam
    Re: Be a Volunteer Archaeologist
    I will be traveling to Egypt in October and would like to volunteer on a digging site. Please email info. Thank you
    5 May 2019
  • BUBS
    Re: Be a Volunteer Archaeologist
    Hello . I’m available from august 17 to 25 . I’m used to working with intricate things as I’m a dental technician . I’m 46 ,6ft 7…
    2 May 2019